(KCPW News) 54 homeless Utahns died in 2010, down from 58 last year. That’s according to data compiled by nonprofits and agencies that work with the homeless.
“We really try and get patients in more often, get them into follow-up care so they can get well, but we only see 6,500 homeless Utahns per year, and in the state of Utah, there are 15,600, so you can see that there’s still a lot of work to be done,” says Jennifer Hyvonen with the Fourth Street Clinic in Salt Lake City.
The Fourth Street Clinic joined other charities in hosting a candlelight vigil at Pioneer Park last night, as a memorial to homeless Utahns who have died.
Hyvonen says the clinic is encouraged that chronic homelessness in Utah is going down.
“We’ve created some very low-income, permanent housing for chronically homeless Utahns, and so hopefully, now that we’ve gotten those numbers to get down, we can then focus on newly homeless people and rapid re-housing programs,” she says.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than 5,500 Utahns were helped by the federal government’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program. More than 1,000 received assistance in Salt Lake City.